Five days after the new year, the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Bernalillo County, New Mexico suddenly went on lockdown. The reason? A ransomware cyberattack has knocked the jail’s internet connection offline, rendering most of their data systems, security cameras, and automatic doors unusable. Prisoners were confined in their cells while MDC technicians struggled to get everything back up and running again.
This attack forced the facility to suspend all prison visits, including from family members and lawyers, which the facility claimed was for the safety of everyone involved. And according to a public defender who represents some of the inmates, the facility’s response to the attack also threatened the prisoners’ constitutional rights.